Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Getting Started

First a little about myself. I retired from teaching in Maine and moved to this wonderful place in Arkansas. Here I found plenty to interest me. In this community of then 7,000 people, now double that, there was an organization for every interest. I joined the camera club, stargazers, University Women, a church and several other groups, and immediately became busy using my skills to write newsletters, be treasurer, be president, and generally become immersed in organizations. Six years ago, when I had finished a long term as president of one organization, I decided to do something different with my life. One of these was to volunteer as a tutor for the Literacy Council, teaching English as a second language. The second was to start taking art classes at the local community college. I had always been interested in art, but had not produced any.

I started with a drawing class. Most of the class members were older - which stands to reason as in Arkansas tuition is waived for people over 60. I went on to take painting 1, still life in oil, painting 2, landscape in oil, then portraits. These were all rewarding but hard on the body. I developed shoulder problems and found painting on an upright easel to be difficult. So, I switched to watercolor, which can be done flat, and started over with painting 1, painting 2. Good thing I wasn't working for a degree!

I enrolled in workshops and learned to paint on various surfaces, use pastels, paint with acrylics and do collage with hand painted paper. As a result of all these, I have LOTS of art supplies, and finding room for them in our tiny house is a problem. We may have to move!